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20 September 2019
This is an ex-eruption!
Recently, as chronicled in Scientific American, I was involved with amending the eruptive record at California’s Mount Shasta to remove an eruption that was supposedly seen by a French mapping expedition in 1786. USGS researchers had already been puzzling over it for years – evidence was slim, since the area was already prone to forest fires and there was nothing in the geologic record to suggest that it happened. William …
4 March 2019
California is volcano country
One of the big projects I’ve been working on for the past couple of years has been assisting my SIC (Scientist-In-Charge) at the California Volcano Observatory in writing a report about California’s exposure to volcanic hazards. And (not) coincidentally, that’s the title of a new report that the USGS just released last week!
27 January 2017
(Geo)science matters: Landslide research in California
Right now it’s incredibly important for scientists to hammer home why science is essential, important and needs to be practiced rigorously, transparently and without censorship. It’s clear that we can no longer limit ourselves to broader impact statements in our next grant applications. I thought I’d do my part by starting a new blog series and highlighting United States geoscientists and their work in action.
15 January 2016
Hunting blueschist (with bonus newt)
My first hike of the new year was to the Lexington Reservoir near Los Gatos. Fellow USGS postdoc Kayla Iacovino (@kalyai) came along to help search for blueschist-facies rocks in what’s locally known as Franciscan Complex melange. Now, I’m getting pretty good at spotting serpentinite – not that it isn’t fairly distinctive – but I’ve been hoping to see some blueschist as well. I found this USGS publication which shows a sample of blueschist from a spot “near” Lexington Reservoir in Santa Clara county, so that was where we headed.
31 December 2015
2015 through a geologist’s eyes
It’s the last day of my eighth year of blogging. I’ve had a pretty amazing year, and though I haven’t gotten to writing about every bit of it, I’ve amassed some great photos of my travels. So here are a few things you’ve already seen, and a preview of a few things yet to come!
14 September 2015
Benchmarking Time: California Collection
I’ve been neglecting this series, but I didn’t stop “collecting” benchmarks when I moved to California. In fact, working at the USGS makes it really easy to find markers, because there are at least three on campus.
23 July 2015
Domes galore: Obsidian Dome, Long Valley
For the final dome in our volcanology day back in my May Long Valley field trip, the W&M students and I took a short hike up to Obsidian Dome. The Obsidian, Glass Creek and Deadman Creek domes all erupted around 1350 CE, which makes them some of the youngest features in the Long Valley area. The three domes are aligned north-south and probably all erupted from the same dike, which …
28 June 2015
Domes galore: Mono Craters, Long Valley
Being the guest lecturer on a geology trip is great, especially if you get to talk about your favorite geologic features. But what does one do when volcanology day is over and it’s time for the students to do a moraine mapping project? Naturally, sit on a convenient rock and observe some lovely lava domes.
9 June 2015
Domes galore: Panum Dome, Long Valley
Oh, man. Summer is a terrible time for keeping up with blog posts, but I’ve had a good reason to be absent – I was off in Denver on business and slightly wilder parts of California with my alma mater’s summer field course. I mean, what geologist could pass up the chance to tag along on a trip to Long Valley and Yosemite? During the Long Valley and Mono Lake portion of the trip, I actually did do a little work, serving as the trip’s volcanology expert and talking about lava domes as much as anyone would let me. Because Long Valley may be a beautiful caldera and the site of one of the world’s largest eruptions, but it also has domes. Boy, does it ever have domes.
17 May 2015
Faults from the air
Sometimes I spend so much time out looking at geological features in the Bay area that I forget to blog about them. But this weekend I had the chance to go for a wonderful tour of the South Bay and Peninsula via Cessna, and I’m convinced that it’s an awesome way to check out geology. (Of course, anyone who’s seen Michael Collier’s photographic work knows that already, but in case you needed convincing, take my word for it. Also, not having to brave security at the airport is lovely.)